George Mason University (GMU) Law Professor Joshua D. Wright has been picked by the Obama Administration to replace Federal Trade Commission member J. Thomas Rosch—a fellow Republican—whose term expires later this month. The White House announced the intended nomination on September 10.
In addition to serving as a professor at GMU School of Law and holding a courtesy appointment in the Department of Economics, Wright is the Research Director and a Member of the Board of Directors of the think tank International Center for Law & Economics. He has written extensively on antitrust law and economics and is a regular contributor to Truth on the Market blog. Wright previously served as the inaugural Scholar in Residence at the FTC Bureau of Competition, from January 2007 to July 2008.
Before joining GMU, Wright taught at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and clerked for Judge James V. Selna of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. He received a B.A. in Economics at the University of California, San Diego and a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was Managing Editor of the UCLA Law Review. According to Truth on the Market, Wright would be the first J.D./Ph.D. to serve as an FTC Commissioner and only the fourth economist.
Wright’s curriculum vitae is available on the GMU website.
Antitrust Division Chief Nomination
Meanwhile, another Administration nomination of interest to antitrust lawyers will be on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for September 13. The nomination of William Joseph Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division will be considered at the full committee business meeting, according to a recently updated agenda.
The committee held a hearing on the nomination back in July. Baer was nominated in February, shortly after then Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen announced her intention to resign effective as of April 30.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting on September 13. However, the nomination of Baer was held over. Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the ranking member, suggested that, when the nomination was debated, the committee might have to go into closed session. He did not go into the details regarding the reasons for a possible closed session.